Philly DA Charges 4 In Alleged House Theft Scam

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Four Philadelphia men are facing charges in an alleged scam prosecutors say amounted to stealing 22 houses.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said 55-year-old Zachary Stokes, 42-year-old Oscar Ketter and 48-year-old Elhadi Ibrahim were arrested Wednesday following a three-year investigation.

Officials said 49-year-old Steven Johnson has also been charged but remains at large.

Investigators say the men would forge documents for unoccupied houses and transfer ownership from the rightful owner, then sell the houses to innocent purchasers.

The men face a number of charges including criminal conspiracy, theft, forgery and records tampering.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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